Register or Login to Hide This Ad for Free!

Logang

Silver Donor
Aug 9, 2018
334
477
160
Kings Dominion needs a food overhaul BAD. When I went yesterday the cheapest thing I found was pretzel nuggets for $6! Like I know they need to make money, but shit...
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
4,771
7,067
250
BFE, Virginia
The guests are unruly enough just with Kings Brew in the park. What do you want them to do? Burn it down?

(actually yeah that's not a bad idea, do it)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thomas

horsesboy

DarKoaster stalker
Advisory Panel
Silver Donor
Jun 16, 2013
4,751
10,716
250
Kings Dominion needs a food overhaul BAD. When I went yesterday the cheapest thing I found was pretzel nuggets for $6! Like I know they need to make money, but shit...
There prices are actually quite reasonable if you know ALL the cost that go into them. Most people just don't understand the added cost that an seasonal or occasional venue have that jack up the price.
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
4,771
7,067
250
BFE, Virginia
There prices are actually quite reasonable if you know ALL the cost that go into them. Most people just don't understand the added cost that an seasonal or occasional venue have that jack up the price.

I know most amusement parks have over a 300% profit margin on soda sales even after the supply agreements with Coca Cola and Pepsi. If you want to offset the value of an all-season souvenir cup you'll have to refill it 30 times, based on what the park charges for a normal refill. For how much the syrup costs along with the cup? I remember doing this math for a college business course and it would've taken over 2,000 refills over the course of the season to offset the charge on the cup through water use, syrup, and the cost of the cup. This was before parks started rolling out the season long paper cups, which would still have a similar offset number due to the charge and the price in making a paper / plastic cup.

French Fries and other cheap and easy to make foods (like Pretzels, Churros, Hot Dogs, Mac n Cheese, etc.) can carry an easy 100+% profit margin in an amusement park.

Food and Beverage departments are usually the largest money earners in a park. They earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of all sales in an average park, with admissions and merchandise coming a little behind that, then games (earnings depends on how large the department is but outside of Great Adventure most parks don't have a robust Games department), and bringing up the rear like a lead balloon is rides (if parks have up-charge attractions) bringing up the rear.

Like I totally understand the added charge for Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express, Subway, and Rita's, since they're all leased locations that have an agreement to operate inside KD (and other amusement parks as well), but there's absolutely no excuse for a hot dog and fries to be $14.99 anywhere even if it comes with a drink. Reasonable pricing would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 to $8, or "ball park" prices, Cedar Fair as a whole is gauging the living hell out of its customers.
 

BGWnut

Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
2,862
5,947
250
I know most amusement parks have over a 300% profit margin on soda sales even after the supply agreements with Coca Cola and Pepsi. If you want to offset the value of an all-season souvenir cup you'll have to refill it 30 times, based on what the park charges for a normal refill. For how much the syrup costs along with the cup? I remember doing this math for a college business course and it would've taken over 2,000 refills over the course of the season to offset the charge on the cup through water use, syrup, and the cost of the cup. This was before parks started rolling out the season long paper cups, which would still have a similar offset number due to the charge and the price in making a paper / plastic cup.

French Fries and other cheap and easy to make foods (like Pretzels, Churros, Hot Dogs, Mac n Cheese, etc.) can carry an easy 100+% profit margin in an amusement park.

Food and Beverage departments are usually the largest money earners in a park. They earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of all sales in an average park, with admissions and merchandise coming a little behind that, then games (earnings depends on how large the department is but outside of Great Adventure most parks don't have a robust Games department), and bringing up the rear like a lead balloon is rides (if parks have up-charge attractions) bringing up the rear.

Like I totally understand the added charge for Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express, Subway, and Rita's, since they're all leased locations that have an agreement to operate inside KD (and other amusement parks as well), but there's absolutely no excuse for a hot dog and fries to be $14.99 anywhere even if it comes with a drink. Reasonable pricing would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 to $8, or "ball park" prices, Cedar Fair as a whole is gauging the living hell out of its customers.

You are pretty accurate. From my experience must places (not just theme parks) price an item so that the cost is approximately 25-30% of the price. Depending on the item this would include the labor needed to assemble the item(this is normally only in boutique/high values items in my experience). This allows for some food waste which is inevitable and allows you to do sales and other promotions. There's no way the cost to KD is around $5 to make a platter of hot dogs and French fries. Without knowing their suppliers and their conracts my best guess would be that the cost is somewhere between $1.50- $2

BGW has a stand that sells ball park franks with some toppings and freshly fried chips for $9.89( I think this was the price I saw the last time I was there)..

There are some items that obviously have much higher margins. Bottled drinks are one example. They can typically cost depending on the agreement around $.50 a bottle. I'm basing that on the price I know it's cost other smaller employers(this was a few years ago). BGW and KD will get them even cheaper for to their lucrative contracts with Coke. Fountain drinks are even cheaper. A BIB holds 5 gallons of syrup that is mixed at a 5 parts water to 1 part syrup ratio. This means a single BIB makes 30 gallons of soda. A typical BIB costs about $70-$80. For math let's just say $75. 75/30 = $2.50 per gallon. There's 128 oz in a gallon. 2.5/ 128 =.019 per ounce. So you're looking at about 40 cents if they filled a 20 oz cup with only soda. BGW and KD undoubtedly get theirs for cheaper.

All that being said there is lot of other stuff that they have to pay for the isn't typically built into the cost of that item. You have the labor for the cook, server and cashier. Also management staff, utilities, taxes, rent, etc. These are not normally built into the cost but are take from the 70-75% that is left. Like b.mac said there are a lot of things that the food purchase pays for.

Typically when a place raises is prices it's because the costs of either the food portion or the everything portion increased. Not because they are trying to be greedy and gouge you out of your money.

TL;DR: there are reasons why the food costs what it costs.
 

GrandpaD

Curve Flattener.
Aug 3, 2017
4,344
9,353
250
Newport News, VA
In scanning old newspapers, it was funny that both KD and BGW, in 1976, were boasting the average guest spent $12 in-park per visit. Times certainly have changed.

IMHO they charge so much now because it's a captive audience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zimmy and Mushroom

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
6,140
18,189
250
I wonder if KD’s prices being higher than BGW’s also has something to do with KD’s lower gate price. Maybe under KD’s system, it’s as simple as the idea that KD makes back their money through in-park purchases rather than admissions.
 

GrandpaD

Curve Flattener.
Aug 3, 2017
4,344
9,353
250
Newport News, VA
Out of curiosity, I looked at food prices at Kings Island. Chick Fil A is the same price at both parks. The two slice pizza package is $1 cheaper at Kings Island. My guess is CF sets the price and they make minor adjustments based on what the market can bear.

Edit - Those KI prices may be last season. It wouldn't surprise me if they're equal to KD.
 
Last edited:

BGWnut

Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
2,862
5,947
250
Yes typically corporate would approve all these prices. When I was at BGW there was pressure to move some items up because other parks charged higher prices. But BGW always had the final say.
 

BGWnut

Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
2,862
5,947
250
I wonder if KD’s prices being higher than BGW’s also has something to do with KD’s lower gate price. Maybe under KD’s system, it’s as simple as the idea that KD makes back their money through in-park purchases rather than admissions.

I think that you are probably pretty correct. It's a balancing act. You want to make sure that you charge enough for tickets so that people who don't buy anything aren't a complete loss. If you do KDs approach then you have to charge higher so that people who do buy pay more.
 
Consider Donating to Hide This Ad